Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Adventure abounds at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park! Tour the historic underground mine or high energy physics lab, take a boat out or cast a line on Lake Vermilion, or hike through acres of old growth pine forest. The addition of nearly 3000 acres and five miles of Lake Vermilion shoreline in 2010 will no doubt add even more opportunities to experience the wonders of northern Minnesota.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
Vermilion Park Drive is open daily to the Armstrong Bay Day Use Area (follow the signs along the gravel portion of the road). The campground is still closed due to construction. Please obey the campground closed signs. Check back here for opening dates and campground reservation information.
Starting the day after Labor Day (Sept. 6), the tour schedule will be changing. Historic tours will be offered on weekdays at 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00 and hourly on weekends from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The physics lab tour will move to 12:00 daily. This schedule will run until the end of September. We will also be open the first four weekends in October (Oct 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23), this includes the Thursday and Friday of the teacher convention weekend. The tour hours will be the same as our fall weekend hours.
(Updated Sept 5, 2016)
Underground Mine Tours:
Slip on a hard hat and travel a half mile underground on one of these tours of Minnesota's first iron ore mine. Experience the life of a miner from the last century, or go high tech with a visit to the high energy physics lab.
Public tours run daily Memorial Day through September. Group and educational tours are also available.
Vehicle permits are required at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park except for the main parking lot of the visitor center at the mine. Vehicle permits are available for purchase at the gift shop in the visitor center.
Future Development and Plans
Curious about what the future holds for Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park? Visit the park's planning and development website and learn about new recreation facility projects underway!
Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park!
White Nose Bat Syndrome:
White-nose syndrome (WNS)—a disease caused by a fungus dangerous to bats—has been confirmed at the park. WNS is harmful and mostly fatal to hibernating bats, and has decimated bat populations in the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. It is transmitted primarily from bat to bat and is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.
Public tours of the mine and physics lab are continuing. To help keep the fungus from spreading, visitors are required to walk across special mats designed to remove spores from footwear. Visitors also are advised not to visit other caves or mines with any clothing, footwear or gear they have used in areas where WNS or the associated fungus is present, because washing alone cannot sufficiently disinfect clothing.
Learn more about white-nose syndrome and what you can do to help slow its spread.
Get the park's Call of the Wildflowers cache coordinates. There's also a multi-stage geocache for truly adventurous park visitors you'll find the starting point at N47 49.243 W 092 14.192.
State Forest Campground:
The park manages one DNR state forest campground - Hinsdale Island - located in Kabetogama State Forest. Camping is first-come, first-served. Hinsdale Island is a remote and rustic campsite area accessible by water only. For more information, contact the park office.
Don't Move Firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for the park.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Best time to contact the park:
May - September: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October - April: Weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Summer Mine Entrance: 1302 McKinley Park Road
Winter Mine Entrance: 1379 Stuntz Bay Road, Soudan, 55782
Mailing address: P.O. Box 335, 1379 Stuntz Bay Road, Soudan, MN 55782
Take U.S. Highway 169 toward Ely and follow the signs. Soudan is located two miles east of Tower, MN.